Monday, 30 January 2012

Turkey and Bean Casserole


You would have thought that as Christmas has not long passed I would want a break from turkey! But I am still on a bit of a health kick and this is a great healthy meal. The turkey is low in fat, the beans high in fibre and the vegetables full of mineral and vitamins.

What is good about this dish is you can use any kind of beans. I am using cannellini and pinto beans, as I had dry versions of these in my cupboard. If you are going to use dried beans, don't forget to soak them overnight and cook them for the length of time required. I added the ingredients listed in the first part of the instructions and cooked for 1 hour 10 minutes as instructed on the cover of the dried bean packet.

I am using turkey thigh meat, because it has more flavour and is not as dry as breast meat.

I am serving this with a mixture of white and wild rice. The wild rice helps give a lovely nutty flavour. Also this recipe serves 6 but there is only 2 of us having it tonight so we will have it again tomorrow evening and what is left I will place in the freezer for another day. This dish’s flavour enhances over night, but the vegetables do get a little mushy.

  • 350g dried beans soaked in water overnight, check packet instructions
  • 2 large onions, peeled
  • 2 small carrots, washed and cut into chunks
  • bouquet garni
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped (I like it spicy so keep in the seeds)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 350g lean turkey meat (thigh is best)
  • 1 large red pepper, cored, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 large orange pepper, cored, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 courgettes, roughly chopped
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1tbsp tomato puree (sundried tomato puree is best)
  • salt and pepper to season
  • large handful of basil leaves

Put the soaked beans into a pan of cold water, cut one of the onions in quarters and add to pan. Also add the carrots and bouquet garni. Cook for 1hour 10 minutes or the time as stated on the dried bean packet.

Once the beans are cooked, drain them saving 150ml of the liquid (which you will add to the casserole later).

Put a flameproof casserole dish onto the stove and start to heat it up then add the olive oil. Finely chop the other onion and add to the pot and gently cook for 5 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and chillies and cook for a further minute.

Add the turkey and stir into the onion mixture and cook for 5 minutes. Add the vegetables, mix and cook with the lid on for another 5 minutes or until they are slightly softened.

Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, salt and pepper- cover and bring to the boil.

Add the beans together with the reserved cooking liquid then boil for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook for around 1 hour. Ensure you stir occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom of the casserole dish.

Serve with anything you want. As I said earlier I am serving it with rice. Tomorrow I'll serve with mashed potatoes.

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